Essay on Ancient Egypt: Old, Middle, and New Kingdom

2351 Words Oct 18th, 1999 10 Pages
Ancient Egypt: Old, Middle, and New Kingdom

Outline

I. Thesis: Ancient Egyptians were the basis for many western traditions.
Their
influences are noticeable in art, architecture, and religion.

II. The Old Kingdom A. Zoser, the first pharaoh. 1. built the famed Step Pyramid 2. brought unity to Egypt B. Religion 1. creation 2. gods C. Art D. Downfall of the Old Kingdom

III. The Middle Kingdom A. Pyramids B. Middle Kingdom religion 1. Myth of Osiris 2. Similarties between the myth of Osiris and Christian beliefs C. Middle Kingdom art D. Downfall of the Middle Kingdom

IV. The New Kingdom A. Valley of the Kings B. Shift in religion
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The religion of the ancient Egyptians was rather complex. Creation was believed to have been made out of darkness and chaos. With the physical creation of earth, mankind, and gods came the abstract concepts of law, religion, ethics, and kingship. Those were to last for eternity, which solidifies the notion that ancient Egyptians were very conservative. They believed there was no change; the universe worked according to a certain pattern governed by principles laid down at the beginning of time. Ancient Egyptians took the seasons to mean life was a cylindrical process, and that there was life after death (David 81). There were two distinct groups of gods: local and state, and household.
The household gods were the gods of the people; they protected the poor, who worshipped them in their own humble surroundings (David 78). These deities possessed no temples of their own and had no religious doctrines, but it was to these gods the people offered their prayers to. The local gods were usually animal, such as Bastet, the cat goddess, or Sobeck, the crocodile god. When the chief of a particular village came into state power, it was his local god that became a nationally-renowned state god. The first god to do this was Re, the sun-god. He had a steady rise in power beginning in the second dynasty, and by the fifth dynasty Re was considered the chief god of

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